Faculty Senate Approved GenEd Program

This Area Contains Three Sections:

Section I General Education Program: Goals for General Education and Learning Outcomes

Part One: Intellectual Abilities and Dispositions

Improving our ability to make important choices involves attention to the intellectual skills, habits, and dispositions which help to guide such choices. General Education has as a goal of student learning the development of the following:

  1. Conceptual and Practical Understanding of Modes of Learning, Problem-Solving, and Creative Inquiry
  2. Information-Gathering, Reasoning, and Synthesizing Abilities
    1. Skill in formulating questions and in setting goals for inquiry
    2. Knowing how and when to make generalizations and value judgments
    3. Skill in generating and evaluating observations and evidence
    4. Skill in making deductive inferences
    5. Ability to use relevant quantitative methods
  3. Reflective, Creative, and Critical Dispositions
    1. Striving to be well-informed and open-minded
    2. Looking for multiple possibilities and being able to deal with ambiguity
    3. Striving to achieve one's best with persistence and imagination
    4. Willingness to make choices and to evaluate those choices
    5. Intellectual self-awareness: being conscious of one's own thinking process, including the cultural and social contexts of that thinking
  4. Communication skills
    1. Writing and speaking with clarity and precision for diverse audiences
    2. Making use of computers and other technological tools
    3. Interpreting and communicating visual information

Part Two: Knowledge and Understanding

Developing educated people requires intensive study in many areas of inquiry as well as interdisciplinary explorations. The process involves different modes of scholarly discourse and methods of inquiry that have evolved in various fields of study. General Education provides students with an opportunity to perceive ways of linking the various areas of inquiry; in this way they can make creative and responsible connections not only among all of their general education courses but also among major, minor, and elective courses as well as with co-curricular educational opportunities in the larger university community. The categories listed below should not be regarded as separate from one another but as interdependent areas of knowledge and understanding.

A. Understanding of the Natural World

Study of the natural world provides an understanding of important principles and methodologies for making choices. Such study includes the following:

  1. Knowledge of the physical universe, including its origin and the physical laws governing it
  2. Knowledge of living systems, including their nature, organization, and evolution
  3. Understanding the history and methods of scientific inquiry and alternative explanations of the natural world
  4. Understanding the multiple influences on scientific inquiry and the consequences of science and technology
  5. Understanding the ways human choices affect the earth and living systems and the responsibilities of individual citizens and communities to preserve global resources
B. Understanding of Culture and Society

Informed choices require knowledge of what people have done and imagined, currently as well as historically. Choices are also tempered by knowledge of the social and cultural settings in which they are made or were made in the past. This learning includes the following:

  1. Knowledge of the many expressions of culture, including understanding of the unique shared ways of thinking, believing, and acting, developed by a people who live together over a long period of time ability to conceptualize and trace the influences of community, institutions, and other constructions such as class, gender, and race familiarity with the ways in which culture is expressed artistically, through literature, performance, and artifact awareness of and appreciation for the ways in which culture and society influence and are influenced by work and leisure
  2. Understanding the sources and expression of diverse values throughout the world, including ethical, religious, aesthetic, political, and economic values as well as social and cultural priorities
  3. Ability to trace the impact of technology on societies and cultures for diverse audiences
  4. Understanding the ways human choices affect communities, from local to global, and responsibilities of individuals to assume the duties of citizenship
  5. Understanding the role of governmental regulation and of legal requirements, political processes, and financial and economic influences on decisions of individuals and society
C. Self-Understanding

To make informed choices, one must understand the natural and the social context in which one lives and must heed the ancient injunction to "know thyself." That self-understanding depends on the following:

  1. Understanding the nature of our humanness and how human beings are like and different from the other beings with whom they share the planet
  2. Knowledge of individual physical, emotional, intellectual, social and creative development as well as ability to use such knowledge to improve personal well-being
  3. Knowledge of individual physical, emotional, intellectual, social, historical, spatial, and cultural matrices into which the individual is born; and the influence of the unique set of experiences which the individual encounters
  4. Ability to perceive one's own being not only from cognitive perspectives but also from those perspectives which come from exposure to and creative vision of the arts to imagine the possibilities the future holds and to develop responsible goals for interactions with others, modes of personal expression, and roles in improving the world



Every course in the program will promote a common set of General Education objectives. The major components are Basic Required Courses, Areas of Inquiry, and Public Affairs.

A. Basic Required Courses (14-21 credits)

  • First -Year Foundations (2 credits, 100 level)
  • Computers for Learning (2-3* credits, 100 level)
    Computers as tools for learning. Students may test out.
    *CSC 111 is a 3 credit hour course
  • Writing I (3 credits, 100 level)
    Writing sample will determine placement. Students may test out.
  • Writing II (3 credits, 200, 300 or 400 level, prerequisites: 45 hours and Writing I, or 45 hours and diagnostic placement)
    Emphasis on writing from sources, documentation and styles in scholarly writing in disciplines.
  • Public Speaking (3 credits, 100 level)
  • Mathematics (3-5 credits, 100 level)
    Test will determine placement.
  • Health and Well-Being (2 credits, 100 level)

Total Credits = 14-21

B. Areas of Inquiry (23-25 credits)

1. Natural World includes the selection of courses from two of the following areas:

  • Astronomy or Physics
  • Biology or Biomedical Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Geography or Geology

At least one of the selected courses must include the equivalent of at least one credit of laboratory work.

Total credits = 8-10

2. Culture and Society includes the selection of courses from the following areas:

  • Humanities perspective (3 credits)*
  • Social Sciences perspective (3 credits)*

*These courses may be interdisciplinary or discipline-based but are expected to include global and/or multicultural perspectives. Study-abroad courses which focus on culture and society may fulfill these requirements.

Total Credits = 6

3. Self-Understanding includes the selection of courses from the following areas:

  • Social/Behavioral Science perspective (3 credits)
  • Humanities perspective (3 credits)
  • Creativity and Vision (3 credits)

Total Credits = 9

C. Public Affairs includes the selection of courses from the following areas (6 credits):

  • American Studies (3 credits)
  • A 3-credit course on the Constitutions and Institutions of the US and Missouri**
  • A 3-credit course on understanding America's history

**Transfer students receiving credit for an American government course without meeting Senate Bill 4 may satisfy this requirement by completing a 1-credit course in Missouri Constitution.

Total Credits = 6

Total General Education Credits = 43-51



The following provide both clarification and elaboration of the features of the General Education Program.

Criteria for and Constraints on the Entire General Education Program

  1. Learning Skills
    1. Writing: All courses should include writing, when appropriate, as a tool for learning.
    2. Thinking: All courses should address, when appropriate, the learning goals in Part One of the General Education Program document.
  2. Class Approaches
    1. Evaluation: Academic rigor is a goal of the General Education Program, and no general education course may be taken Pass/Not Pass.
    2. Classroom methods: In all courses a variety of teaching and learning approaches is encouraged, including those which emphasize students making choices.
    3. Assessment: All general education course proposals must describe procedures for determining how the course meets General Education Program aim and learning goals.
  3. Oversight of the Program
    1. Each general education course must be approved by the Committee on General Education and Intercollegiate Programs (CGEIP) as specified in the Constitution and By-Laws of the Faculty.
    2. The CGEIP also will periodically review all general education courses to see that they attempt to achieve the Goals for Learning listed in Part One of the General Education document. Each general education course should be reviewed at least once every three years to determine if sufficient interest and enrollment exist to continue the course in the General Education Program.

Criteria for and Constraints on the Basic Required Courses

  1. Placement In and Testing Out of Required Courses
    1. Students will be able to test out of Computers for Learning and Writing I.
    2. Computers for Learning: Students may take a test to determine if they already possess the computer-related knowledge and skills comprising the Computers for Learning Requirement. Those who pass this test will be excused from, but will not receive credit for, the Computers for Learning requirement.
    3. Writing I
      • Based on the results of their English placement test, students will be placed in remedial, Writing I, or Writing II levels.
      • Remedial work: Students will not be allowed to enroll in Writing I until they have either: (1) passed the placement test; or (2) successfully completed a remedial level writing course taken outside of the Missouri State University for-credit program.
      • Students who place at the Writing I level are eligible for and must take the Missouri State University Writing I course.
      • Students who place at the Writing II level may be excused from but will not receive credit for the Writing I requirement.
    4. Mathematics
      • Based on the results of their mathematics placement test, students will be placed in one of three levels: remedial, algebra, or advanced.
      • Remedial work: Students will not be allowed to enroll in any Missouri State University mathematics course until they have either: (1) passed the placement test; or (2) successfully completed a remedial algebra course taken outside of the Missouri State University for-credit program.
      • Algebra level: Students who place at this level are eligible for and must take an algebra course. Only mathematics courses at or above college algebra level will count toward the mathematics requirement.
      • Advanced level: Students who place at this level may and are encouraged to take an appropriate advanced level course to satisfy the mathematics requirement.
  2. Constraints
    1. First-Year Foundations: This course should be taken during the first semester in residence at Missouri State University.
    2. Computers for Learning: This course shall cover word processing, spread sheets, and accessing information.
    3. Mathematics: The algebra level mathematics course(s) shall prepare students both for higher level mathematics courses and making choices with the application of algebraic skills. The design process for the algebra level mathematics course(s) shall include input from throughout the campus.Placement in and successful completion of any mathematics course for which college algebra or its equivalent* is prerequisite shall be accepted as fulfillment of this basic skills course.

      *Currently MTH courses numbered 130 or higher
    4. Writing I and II: The design process for these courses shall include input from throughout the campus. The content of Writing I shall include attention to effective use of standard edited English. The content of Writing II may be discipline-based and may be taught within a department or college of a student's major, by faculty trained to teach writing.
    5. The following constraints apply to the Basic Required Courses, with the exception of Writing II: Students should complete the Basic Required Courses by the time they have completed 30 semester hours. Students must complete the Basic Required Courses by the time they have completed 60 semester hours; if not, they must register for each remaining Basic Required Course until they complete all those courses.
    6. The Public Speaking course must include attention to critical listening skills and to speaking in a variety of settings and media.
    7. The Health and Well-Being course will include a physical fitness component that is consistent with the aims of the course.
    8. The First-Year Foundations course will introduce students to many approaches of decision-making embodied in various academic disciplines.
    9. Transfer students who have completed a general education program which conforms to the CBHE model general education program at an accredited Missouri two- or four-year institution will be considered to have fulfilled all Missouri State University general education requirements with the exception of the Writing II course.

Criteria for and Constraints on the Areas of Inquiry

Courses comprising the Areas of Inquiry may be either interdisciplinary or representative of the learning in a single field of study. Many of these courses will be substantially the same as existing courses, although many existing courses will need to be reconceptualized to serve more directly the learning goals of general education.

  1. Intent: A course in this category presents the understanding of one or more basic fields of learning which are related to one of the areas included in "Part Two: Understanding and Knowledge" of this General Education document. All such courses must address General Education aims and learning goals. The CGEIP will prohibit a plethora of courses under each of the three Areas of Inquiry.
  2. Course Development
    1. Courses are proposed by individual departments or by two or more departments which choose to work together in designing and offering a particular course.
    2. At least one section of each course must be offered and taught each year to remain as part of the General Education Program, unless extenuating circumstances are determined to exist by CGEIP. Noncompliance with this provision will cause the course to be removed from the list of available alternatives.
  3. Course Numbering: Courses included in the Areas of Inquiry portion of the General Education Program will be administered by and bear the prefix of the appropriate field of study and customarily will be lower- division courses.
  4. Course Instruction
    1. The content of all sections of a particular course will be faithful to the content of that course as proposed and approved.
    2. All instructors of a particular course should cooperate in the choice of course materials and resources.
  5. Prerequisites: These courses will have no prerequisites other than, in some cases, completion of certain Basic Required Courses. Exceptions must be approved through the curricular process. The courses comprising this section of the General Education Program may count toward majors, minors, and other programs of study and may serve as prerequisites to other courses.
  6. Constraints: Students must use courses with at least four different course codes to satisfy the Culture and Society and Self-Understanding Areas of Inquiry requirements.

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